FOR nearly four decades a Herefordshire company has continued to build a solid reputation in the construction industry.

Border Oak, based at Kingsland, succeeded in reviving the traditional art of green oak framing – a building style much favoured in Herefordshire for centuries - and this family-run business has just received two major accolades for their work.

Build It magazine presented Border Oak with the award for best oak frame house, and at the same awards’ night the enterprise was handed top honours for the best custom build collective project, making it the only winner to pick up two prizes on the night.

The judges were “very complimentary”, said Merry Albright, whose father, John Greene launched the business back in 1980.

She explained that competition to find best oak frame house in the country had been “tough”.

In the event, the Herefordshire team picked up top honours for a house designed and built for a family in Lincolnshire.

Meanwhile the second prize was awarded in recognition of a project in Kingsland.

“We bought a large site in the middle of the village,” said Merry. The area had received planning for an estate of executive homes.

“We redesigned and secured planning for seven self-build plots and Border Oak provided all the services, driveways, undertook master landscaping - including mature tree planting and retaining existing hedges.

"We provided a wide range of build packages but worked for each individual family.”

These discussions included working with three local families with children.

She estimated that the project represented a major benefit of up to £4 million into the county economy, and jobs for “a couple of hundred people” over an 18-month period.

“It already looks lovely and established and settling into the village well,” she continued.

Throughout the project, Border Oak worked closely with the local parish council, with neighbours and with the landowner in order to come up with a scheme that everyone could support.

“Hopefully it is a good alternative housing delivery model,” she said, believing that the Kingsland model could be one that other communities in Herefordshire might consider. Mrs Albright felt this could help to meet the county’s “elusive housing targets”.